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Masters Degrees in Environmental Engineering, Ireland

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Water security is a major concern facing humanity and engineers are the primary professionals tackling this issue. Read more

About the Course

Water security is a major concern facing humanity and engineers are the primary professionals tackling this issue. Annually, more than 3.4 million people die from water related diseases while 1 in 9 people world-wide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water and 1 in 3 people world-wide are affected by water scarcity. In addition, population growth, urbanisation, climate change and increasing energy demands, are placing unprecedented pressures on our finite water resources. This 1-year MSc programme aims to equip students with the skills needed to design solutions to deliver safe/clean water. The programme will also give opportunities to students to study the economics and management of large projects.

Programme Objectives

The MSc in Water resources Engineering will provide students with the technical competences to provide solutions to water security issues. Core modules will address technical aspects of water provision, water resource management and water / wastewater treatment. A primary objective of the programme is to ensure that students have a thorough understanding of modern hydrological modelling tools. The programme has a strong emphasis on the design of hydrological systems, with students working in groups to solve real-world problems. Graduates of this programme will be in a position to make significant contributions to solving water resource problems in both industry and academic roles worldwide.

Programme Structure and Content

This is a 90ECTS programme, one full year in duration, starting in September and finishing August. The programme comprises an individual research project and thesis (30 ECTS), an integrated group design project (15 ECTS) and a number of taught (core and elective) modules (55 ECTS).

The core taught modules include: Hydrology & Water Resources Engineering, Hydrological Modelling, Design of Sustainable Environmental Systems, Water Quality, Water Resources in Arid Regions, and Applied Field Hydrogeology. Sample elective modules include: Computational Methods in Engineering, Global Change, Offshore & Coastal Engineering, Environmental Economics, Project Management, and Estimates and Costing of Engineering Projects.

The Integrated Group Design Project involves the design of components of a water supply and/or treatment system and will be typical of real-world water resources engineering project. Each student will also complete an individual minor research thesis in the area of water resources engineering. This thesis accounts for one third of the overall programme mark.

What’s Special About CoEI/NUIG in this Area

• Water engineering has been taught at graduate level at NUI Galway for over 40 years. During this period students from over 50 countries have graduated from NUI Galway.
• The MSc in Water Resources Engineering is a re-launch of NUI Galway's International Postgraduate Hydrology Programme established by the late Prof Eamonn Nash. Many of the staff who lectured on the Hydrology Programme contribute to the current programme; so the recognised tradition of world-class teaching in water engineering at NUI Galway continues.
• Currently NUIG staff are involved in large-scale funded research projects in water resources, facilitated by the world-class research facilities at NUI Galway.


"It was a privilege and a pleasure to participate in the Galway MSc programme with world renowned hydrologists, excellent technicians and support staff, and Irish and international students. The comprehensive programme provided an excellent basis for my subsequent career in hydrology."
Charles Pearson, MSc Hydrology, NUIG, 1990 Graduating Class
Regional Manager, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand

"I am fortunate enough to have completed a world-class course in Hydrology at National University of Ireland, Galway which was taught by world-leading academics and researchers. Since my course completion in 1990, I have been able to play a key role in hydrologic application and research in Bangladesh and Australia based on the knowledge I gained from my studies in Galway."
Professor Ataur Rahman, MSc Hydrology, NUIG, 1990 Graduating Class
Water and Environmental Engineering, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Western Sydney

"NUI Galway gave me priceless experiences; it was my first travel outside the Philippines. Being a graduate of NUI Galway opened doors of opportunities for me. My being who I am now started with my NUI Galway experience and I will always be grateful to the institution, to my friends and to my former professors."
Dolores San Diego-Cleofas, MSc Hydrology, NUIG, 1995 Graduating Class,
Assistant Professor at University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Phillipines

How to Apply

Applications are made online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC): https://www.pac.ie
Please use the following PAC application code for your programme:
M.Sc. Water Resources Engineering - PAC code GYE23

Scholarship Opportunities

There are a number of funding opportunities for International Students planning to attend NUI Galway. Information on these can be found at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/international-students/feesfinance/internationalscholarships/

The College of Engineering and Informatics will also award the Nash Scholarship in Water Resource Engineering. This is in memory of our deceased colleague, Eamonn Nash who was our Professor of Engineering Hydrology for many years, and was a well-known in the international engineering community. The “Nash cascade” and “Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient” were named after him, and these still feature in scholarly publications. Over four hundred senior hydrologists throughout the world received their post-graduate hydrological education at this University. Please visit our website for more information on scholarships: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/internationalpostgraduatestudents/feesandscholarships/

The MSc in Water Resources Engineering is accredited by Irish Aid as an eligible course for their International Fellowship Training Programme (IFTP). Through the IFTP, Irish Aid provides funding for students from eligible developing countries to undertake postgraduate studies on selected courses in colleges and universities in Ireland. More information on Irish Aid Fellowships can be found on the website of the Irish Council for International Students at:

Further information is available on our website:

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Costs. Fees for 2016/17 TBC. 2015-2016 Irish/EU €8,500. Plus subsistence expenses (food etc.) associated with field trips, including the Tidal Energy module based at Queen’s Marine Laboratory, Portaferry, Northern Ireland. Read more
Costs: Fees for 2016/17 TBC. 2015-2016 Irish/EU €8,500. Plus subsistence expenses (food etc.) associated with field trips, including the Tidal Energy module based at Queen’s Marine Laboratory, Portaferry, Northern Ireland. Software necessary for assignments will be provided in UCC laboratories but may not be available for remote use. Optional sea safety training.


The programme covers a range of engineering and non-engineering topics relevant to the marine renewable energy industry, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decade. This will lead to a requirement for engineers with good knowledge of engineering fundamentals as well as detailed knowledge of how wind, wave and tidal devices will be designed, deployed and operated. A key aspect of the programme is the provision of specially-developed advanced modules in marine renewable energy which are not available in any other master’s course. This is an all-Ireland programme, hosted by UCC, delivered in partnership with the following academic institutions: Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Queen’s University Belfast, University College Dublin and the University of Limerick.

Course Details

Students take 90 credits as follows:

In Part I students must take the five core modules (unless these or equivalent courses have already been taken), to a total of 25 credits. Students also choose electives from the list below, or may, with the approval of the Programme Director, choose other modules from the University’s Calendar.

NB: For the purposes of this programme it has been agreed that all non-UCC modules are treated as either 5 or 10 credits.

Part II consists of a Marine Renewable Energy Research Project (NE6020), to the value of 30 credits, completed over the summer months, either in industry or in an academic research laboratory in one of the partner institutions. Projects are offered subject to availability of suitable proposals from industry, and will be offered to students based on order of merit of results achieved in Part I. Students are also encouraged to make efforts to secure their own placement from suitable industrial hosts, outside of the list provided.

In every case, the final choice of modules is subject to the approval of the Programme Director of the MEngSc (Marine Renewable Energy). Students may take a maximum total of 15 credits only of undergraduate modules on this programme.

Part I
Core Modules
CE4020 Environmental Hydrodynamics (5 credits; UCC)
NE6003 Wind Energy (5 credits; UCC)
NE6005 Ocean Energy (5 credits; UCC)
NE6010 Advanced Topics in Marine Renewable Energy (5 credits; All institutions)
NE6906 Tidal Energy (5 credits; QUB; 1-week block)

Elective Modules

Students select modules to the value of 35 credits from the following list, (or from elsewhere in the UCC Calendar, subject to approval):

AC6301 Innovation Finance (5 credits) (UCC)
NE3003 Sustainable Energy (5 credits; UCC)
CE4013 Harbour & Coastal Engineering (5 credits; UCC)
CE6024 Finite Element Analysis (5 credits; UCC)
EE4001 Power Electronics, Drives & Energy Conversion (5 credits; UCC)
EE4010 Electrical Power Systems (5 credits; UCC)
EV4012 Environmental Impact Assessments (5 credits) (UCC)
GL6007 Practical Offshore Geological Exploration (5 credits; offered subject to availability of survey vessel time) (UCC)
IS6306 Technology Business Planning (5 credits) (UCC)
LW6104 Intellectual Property Law for High-Tech Entrepreneurs (5 credits) (UCC)
NE6007 Energy Systems Modelling (5 credits; UCC)
NE6901 Control Systems (5 credits; NUIM - EE612)
NE6902 Maintenance & Reliability (5 credits; CIT - MANU8003)

Part II
NE6020 Marine Renewable Energy Research Project (30 credits; All institutions; Summer)

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at http://www.pac.ie/ucc. Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here (http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/applicationclosingdates/). For full details of the application procedure click How to apply - http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

Course Practicalities

You will be studying a range of engineering and non-engineering topics relevant to a career in the marine renewable energy industry.

The programme will include modules in engineering topics such as Wind Energy, Wave Energy, Tidal Energy, Ocean-Structure Interactions; Ocean Energy Device Design; Control Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Grid Integration and Storage; Marine Operations & Robotics.

The course content will be delivered via blended learning, with some modules presented in traditional lecture format, and some modules delivered remotely using e-learning technologies. All modules will have a significant element of continuous assessment throughout the year. The Tidal Energy module is delivered during a one-week field visit to the Portaferry research laboratory of Queen’s University Belfast.

A significant element of the programme is a R&D project carried out in conjunction with either an industry partner or an academic research group, with the final three months spent working on the project on placement with the partner.

Non-engineering topics available include Intellectual Property Law; Innovation Finance; Environmental Impact Assessment; Practical Offshore Geological Exploration.


Taught modules (total >= 60 ECTS): will be assessed via a mixture of continuous assessment (assignments and mini design projects) and traditional examinations. This depends on the contributing institution, for example in NUIM, coursework and project-based learning is emphasised. The project module (30 ECTS) will be assessed by means of: oral presentation and seminar; logbook; written report, with input from the industrial placement supervisor.

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